PlacesKidsGo simplifies searches for appropriate children’s activities. Currently, the site draws on hyper-local San Jose data, including program information from nearby municipal recreation centers. After specifying an activity category (e.g. tutoring, soccer, arts) and a location, users can refine the list of choices by selecting the child’s age or the time of interest. In an effort to serve under-privileged populations, PlacesKidsGo allows users to filter by other characteristics, such as whether an activity is free or whether it is suitable for certain populations (e.g. autistic children or physically disabled children). This level of personalization makes it easier to find the most relevant activities for a given individual.   Finding appropriate childcare options is often a challenge for low-income parents. The problem is especially acute during the summer, when parents need to find activities for the times that are usually filled by school. Therefore, this tool serves the low-income population by helping parents more quickly find options that they might not have known about otherwise.   To help with accessibility, PlacesKidsGo has a translate button and font size change buttons. The translate button allows users to translate the website into any of 51 languages. The font size change button allows visually impaired users easier access to information on the site.   As expected from any modern online community, users can read and leave reviews to help them better determine which activities to try out. The platform also encourages users to be active by awarding points when users engage with the site, whether that be by writing reviews or by updating activity information. This rewards model has been shown to be effective in other communities such as Yelp, Foursquare, and to some extent, Amazon.com.   In terms of sustainability, the plan is for PlacesKidsGo to survive off of advertising revenue, and eventually grow to include lead generation. Because PlacesKidsGo allows users to add and update content like Wikipedia, the operational costs of the site will be low. As communities of parents form in metropolitan areas where content has been seeded, activity providers will have a stronger financial incentive to market themselves via this platform by updating their profiles. Advertisers of children’s products will also want to reach this audience. With over 70 million children in the U.S. (this service is easily replicable across communities in the US), a useful and freely available service with low overhead will be able to more than adequately sustain itself after reaching critical mass.   The impetus for this site grew out of personal frustration of finding appropriate activities for young children. While we believe that a number of enrichment activities will help develop children, it has been incredibly time-consuming to find good activities that meet our cost and schedule constraints. Having conferred with other families with young children, finding kids’ activities seems like a common problem. We have built out this platform with those needs in mind and would greatly appreciate some seed capital to help form the first community.

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